U.N. special rep arrives in Baghdad

Aug. 13, 2004 at 9:51 AM

UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- A U.N. spokesman says Secretary-General Kofi Annan's new special representative arrived Friday in Baghdad.

It marks for the first return of a permanent U.N. office in Iraq led by a senior official since the terrorist bombing nearly a year ago of U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, which killed 22 people and led to the evacuation in mid-October of all U.N. international staff, said spokesman Farhan Haq.

Included among the Aug. 19, 2003, fatalities was Annan's Special Representative Sergio Vieira de Mello.

Acting Special Representative Ross Mountain has run a small mission making irregular visits to Iraq, operating out of Amman, Jordan; Larnaca, Cyprus, and neighboring Kuwait.

Haq said U.N. Special Representative Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, leading "a small team of U.N. staff" arrived at 10:15 a.m. local time.

"The team is proceeding to go about its work in Iraq, which will include the special representative's attendance at the upcoming National Conference," expected to begin Sunday in Baghdad.

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